Wii S – um, I mean, Nintendo Switch Sports.”/>

Enlarge / Welcome back to the world of Wii S– um, I mean, Nintendo Switch Sports.


Wii sports is dead; long live Nintendo Switch Sports. So many years into the Switch’s lifespan, Nintendo has finally decided that its casual, cartoonish sport should live on, even if its original home on the Wii is no longer supported. But what’s in a name? Are the words “Nintendo” and “Sport” enough to imply a continuation of the style, mechanics and fun of the series?

This week we’ve learned that things on the surface look and feel pretty familiar. But during Nintendo Switch Sports feels cozy and approachable at times, an unfortunate “switch” towards the series is inevitable.

Disc-appointed by the sports selection

Watch others online<em>NSS</em>-player after you finish your bowling round, as the mode defaults to a best-of-16 battle royale mode.” src=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/ 2022/05/2022050311213000-030CC84A0859ABD745D45D5F8AAD9975-980×551.jpg” width=”980″ height=”551″/></a><figcaption class=
Enlarge / View others online NSS Players after you’ve finished your round of bowling, as the mode defaults to a best-of-16 battle royale.

in some ways NSS follow the marked path 2006 Wii sports. If you’re one of around 82 million gamers who played the original, you know the drill: motion controls reign supreme in six mind-bending, easy-to-play sports games, and players choose a cartoon avatar to represent their wrist. shaky self on her tv. If you don’t like NSSIn the revamped avatars of you can choose an old Mii from the Wii era (learn how to make one on your Switch here) and transport back to 2006.

The divergence between the series starts with a meager sport selection than 2009 Wii Sports Resort. Only three sports return from this jam-packed game: tennis, bowling, and “chambara” sword fighting. (A new version of the series’ Golf is due later this year as a free downloadable update.) NSS‘s replaced badminton ESC‘s table tennis, while soccer and volleyball are added as new sports to the series.

Gone then are the hectic airstrikes of Wii sports Boxing and the breezy home run derbies of Wii sports Baseball. These can be hard pills Wii sports to swallow faithfully, and I’m not sure why Nintendo hasn’t bothered to bring them back, even as bare-bones ports.

Now I’m less surprised to see it Wii Sports Resort get a minimal display. This game revolved around the “Wuhu Island” concept while emphasizing solo larks like biplane flying and wakeboarding NSS focuses on competitive sports, whether online or offline. but resort had over a dozen sports minigames, and it would have been nice to see more of its content filling the void NSS Selection. (Disc golf would have been at least a slam dunk to bring it back, Nintendo.)

Lack of progress in progress

Select up to three sports when entering online matchmaking and <em>NSS</em> intelligently finds the fastest online opponents available.” src=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/2022050311175500-030CC84A0859ABD745D45D5F8AAD9975-980×551.jpg” width=”980″ height= “551”/></a><figcaption class=
Enlarge / Select up to three sports when participating in online matchmaking and NSS will intelligently find the fastest online opponent(s) available.

To his honor NSS includes a heartier online multiplayer mode than that of Wii U Wii Sports Club. So far, it works without any problems worldwide (as long as the owners have subscribed to the Nintendo Switch Online service for $20 per year). NSS puts players in an internet-connected lobby by default, and matchmaking was fast and consistent. Select up to three favorite sports and NSS will match them until it finds a lobby.

Online lobby options for friends only.
Enlarge / Online lobby options for friends only.

If you prefer to connect directly with online friends, host a local NSS Party with up to four people or play against offline CPU drones, all of this is easy to launch and organize thanks to a generally slick menu system. But this is where the first big red flag appears.

NSS features a progression system that unlocks outfits, in-game emotes, and other cosmetics. But this system only works for people who connect to the internet and play against matchmade opponents. You can choose to bring a friend to online matchmaking, but that friend must be at your house. You can’t create an online party with friends, then play against each other or work together against the world and expect XP progression. Anyone who does not pay for Nintendo Switch Online will be completely locked out of progress; It’s not the same as charging for DLC, but it kind of feels like it.

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